Patrick Shea was born in California, but by the age of one his family moved to Billings, Montana. When he was four, the family again moved to New Jersey for a year before settling in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon for the rest of his childhood. Shea liked the usual childhood things; Star Wars, legos, his bike; but mostly he loved to walk around in the woods behind his house, climbing trees and catching salamanders under rocks. His brief daredevil career began and ended trying to ride his bike down the slide at the playground by his house.
Shea has loved music as long as he can remember. Early on, he latched onto the two forms of music most present in his life; the girl group/do-wop/motown of the oldies station, and advertising jingles; both of which genres still play heavily into his songwriting aesthetic.
At the age of 12, Shea decided to learn the trumpet. At 14, he picked up the guitar. By 15 he had written his first full song, "An Empty War," influenced in equal parts by early Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens' "Father and Son." At 17, Shea decided to turn his decade of tinkling at the piano into actual lessons. When he could drive, he would spend weekend days driving to the coast and writing songs by the ocean.
Shea attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa; graduating in 2000 with a BA in English. Shea developed an appreciation for contemporary country music in the Iowa bars, which has since become a deep affection. Shea also bonded with the Iowa landscape. He spent many hours walking the train tracks out from campus, or driving the highways and back roads. He loved the open space, the rolling hills, and the curvature of the Earth at the horizon.
After college, Shea moved to Austin, Texas. He worked temp jobs at IBM while developing his music career in various clubs and open mics. He bought a cheap keyboard and some recording equipment, and recorded his first full record in his apartment. He released the record under the name Saturn Expedition, titled "Look Back Fair Pilgrim." The record received a favorable review in The Austin Chronicle.
In 2002, Shea moved to Brooklyn, New York. He formed a band, The New Fantastics, and played clubs ranging from The Knitting Factory to Pianos to Lit Lounge. Shea engineered and mixed The New Fantastics' demo and first EP, "Dwindling Acreage," in their rehearsal space. The EP received note in The Village Voice, Time Out New York, and Punk Planet. The New Fantastics released two more EPs; "Peasant, Peasant, Peasant, Serf," and "Mollusks of New York State;" before disbanding in 2010.
In 2008, Shea started working again as a solo songwriter and performer. He spent three years writing and recording the project Call Me Ishmael, in which he recorded one song for every chapter of Moby-Dick. Shea was featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and WNYC Soundcheck. The Call Me Ishmael blog remains an active resource for readers and fans of Moby-Dick. Shea performed songs from the project solo and with a band; including the Sea Stories festival at Mystic Seaport; the Call Me Melville festival in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and a one-month residency at NYC venue Pianos.
Shea is currently writing in multiple genres; including country, pop, and instrumental.